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by Christopher Stasiak

 

By Chuck Stasiak.

 

Christopher Michael Stasiak was born on September 12, 1997, to parents Carrie and Joseph Stasiak. In Brooklyn, New York. Chris was a student studying at Pennsylvania State University about to enter his senior year. He was part of an archaeological science ‘study abroad’ program in Tel Akko, Israel. It was on July 1st, 2018 when the fatal accident occurred. While at the Israeli Naval College Chris suffered a fatal case of ego-death when a staff member, who will remain unnamed, started referring to Chris as Chuck. Chris had lived a semi-sheltered life in the United States. Before going to Israel, he had never left his home country let alone travelled much inside of it. He played sports, loved swimming, and hanging out with friends and he had a passion for music. Chris was not a morning person; he loved staying up all hours of the night, loving the peacefulness of the darkness and how quiet it could be. He was also not a huge fan of the beach, the sea or the ocean because of the sand and

On July 1st 2018 Chris was reborn as Chuck; the author of this eulogy. I, Chuck am a completely new person, quite the opposite of Chris. Chris was not a morning person; he could not wake up in the morning even if his life, or his grades, depended on it. Chuck, on the other hand, was able to wake up at four in the morning every day in order to go to work digging holes, sweeping the dirt and performing other archaeological practices. You would be lucky to get Chris out of bed before noon, but Chuck would have already have done seven hours of work before noon rolled around. I, Chuck thoroughly enjoy going to the beach and hanging out with friends in my free time in-between and during the hours of two pm and four pm. The ocean and the sand does not bother me one bit like it did Chris. I have learned to like hummus, falafel and other types of food that Chris would never have enjoyed or even thought about trying. Every meal is a new experience for me and I am more open to trying all types of food and sauces along the likes of tahini, and yogurt-based sauces.

In the nighttime, I explore the old city and the modern one looking for new places to eat and cool places to hang out and converse with new friends I have made. I have made friends with all sorts of people from all over the world while here in Israel. Some people that I would consider friends even go to the same school, as Chris but he would never have talked to them let alone run into them at all. I have met and befriended locals such as Wesam and Issa, which are two people that work at the Café down the road from the Israeli Naval College. Chris would have never conversed with any of the locals or even tried to learn Hebrew or Arabic, he would have been more interested in the fact that the Café is the only place with wifi. I, Chuck spend all of my time conversing with friends and the locals often forgetting that they even have wifi at the Café. No Pennsylvania State University student truly died in Israel, but the person who flew out of Newark airport to Tel Aviv is not the same person that will be returning to the US.

While in Israel I have experienced things that I would never have experienced and my time here has truly shaped me into a new person. Israel opened my eyes to how different other cultures and people may be from each other but that we should learn to love each culture for their aspects of life. I really enjoy how environmental and friendly the people are here in Akko. I would never have expected it. Coming from America, New York especially, I expected people to be just as rude (well maybe a little less I hoped). I was nervous to come but now, as the summer is winding down, I really don’t want to leave, I love the food, the people and Israeli culture as a whole. I truly do not know how my summer would have panned out if I hadn’t come. I have made such great friends in and out of the program. I have grown close with some locals, Wesam, Issa, Ibraham and some man whose name I actually don’t know. He just refers to himself as the Captain. Overall, Israel has killed something inside me – my ignorance when it comes to other cultures and people, while my love for the world as a whole has continued to grow beyond belief. I hope whoever is reading this plans a trip to Akko or somewhere they have always wanted to go in the near future. Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

Christopher Stasiak
About Christopher Stasiak

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Pennsylvania State University Student “Dies” in Israel